The new German Consul General in Erbil, Mr Alfred Simms-Protz, met with Minister Falah Mustafa as part of his introductory and courtesy calls on senior KRG officials.
Mr. Simms-Protz previously served as Head of Diplomatic Security at the German Foreign Office in Berlin.
Speaking about the growing relationship with Germany, Minister Mustafa said: I hope we will be able to continue the existing relationship – we have achieved good results but there is room for ways to further develop these relations.” He assured the Consul Generalof his support and the readiness of the Department to ensure his tenure is successful.
The German presence in Kurdistan includes a German Liaison Office for Commerce and Industry, the Goethe Institute, a German school as well as DAAD working with the universities and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
The meeting touched upon different areas in which Kurdistan can benefit from Germany. These include high quality products, scientific knowledge, culture, education and sports.
“The KRG places much importance on its ties not just with the Federal Republic of Germany, but also with regions within Germany,” Minister Mustafa added. He said that the Consulate General in Erbil plays a key role in encouraging the exchange of political, economic and cultural visits.
Consul General Simms-Protz, “We regard the Kurdistan Region as a model for the whole region as your experience shows you can achieve development and democracy.”
He added that the German government has an interest in promoting its ideals for democracy and human rights. He said, “When you come here and read your history, one can only feel sympathy with your effort to establish democracy and prosperity for your people.”
Both sides discussed the rich relationship between the KRG and German government and ways of building upon these ties. The meeting also touched upon the upcoming parliamentary and provincial elections as well as ties with the federal government in Baghdad, neighbouring countries and the international community at large. The officials spoke about the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan and the need for more international support and humanitarian aid.
The meeting was attended by Ms. Siham Jabali, Assistant-Head of DFR and other officials.